Asylum seekers offered NZ residency by Indonesian criminals
An investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that Indonesian people-smugglers are offering passage to New Zealand to asylum seekers and promising permanent residency. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has condemned the practice saying that those promising safe transport and residency are liars and criminals.
The report found that would-be asylum seekers are being charged as much as $17,000. Mr Woodward warned anybody thinking of entering New Zealand illegally not to do so. Australia recently stepped up its crackdown on asylum seekers coming in by boat. Any who are discovered are sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea.
The newspaper reports a smuggler called Mohammed Ali who is offering travel to New Zealand for US$9,000. Apparently he was recorded as saying that New Zealand is a better option than Australia, describing the country as a golden opportunity. He also promises the whole of the family can move to New Zealand, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Woodhouse said people-smugglers were preying on the vulnerable in order to obtain large sums of money in exchange for a lie.
An Immigration Act amendment by the government means that officials can immediately detain mass arrivals of 30, or more, asylum seekers. The asylum seekers can also be detained for 28 days until their credentials are checked.
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